Tuesday, January 29, 2008

De-Humanizing God

Daily, I strive to have heart-to-heart dialogue with my Father. As I learn more of who He is via these times and by spending time in His Word, I see more and more of who He really is and less and less of who I thought He was. Far too often we see God through our carnal, corrupted vision. We likely see Him as we see most everyone else that we’ve known. Perhaps you’ve been in a time in your life where organized religion let you down, so you associated that with who God is and, in turn, wrote God off for a season. Maybe you had a poor example in your earthly father, so you unintentionally attribute the same characteristics to your Heavenly Father. God, however, is not defined by our experiences or understanding. You see, God never had a physical body, as we know them. Of course, He chose to take on the form of a man in Jesus, but God could not be farther from being fleshly.

In John 4:24, Jesus speaks to us in a familiar passage that states, “those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” I’ve heard this thrown around for years, but I’m not sure that I had ever heard anyone explain the first part of this verse to me. So let me ask you, do you know why we must worship God in spirit and in truth? (pause) The beginning of this verse makes the declaration as to why – because “God is spirit”. As with dozens of other “teachings” I’ve had kicking around in my head for years, I knew I was to worship God in such a way, but was never told why. Actually, it was likely told to me that I could worship God in spirit and in truth. The Word however, clearly states that we must worship God in this way. Note that it doesn’t say you can, it says that you must. This clearly states that the absolute ONLY way to worship our Heavenly Father is in Spirit and truth. In the Greek, spirit is “pneuma”, which basically means breath or wind, how one interacts with the spirit realm. “Truth” is “aletheia” and is pretty self-explanatory. A few chapters earlier, it’s stated that Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14,17). A bit later in John 14:17, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is the “spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides in you and will be in you.” So it’s imperative that we, those that know Him and have “the spirit of truth” indwelling us, know these mysteries and walk accordingly, with Jesus as our example.

Throw out your rituals! Discard your volumes of praise and worship CD’s that you depend on! Stop waiting for Sunday’s rock show, I mean worship service, for your time to worship Him! For a few moments, forget that your physical body even exists and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth! Of course, I know that there are “tools” that “usher us into the presence of God”. Ugh, I hate even typing that phrase, despite my having used it on occasion. Now I realize that I tend to lean towards the extreme, but what do we “need” to usher us in? Why have we left the presence in the first place? My point is, I want to remain in a constant state of worship unto the Lord in spirit and in truth. I desire my every decision, thought and action to be in light of my worship. If the Holy Spirit abides in me, as Jesus said, then all that I need is already present.

Key: God is not man, therefore we cannot worship Him as one. God is spirit and I was created in His image, with a spirit at the core of my being. I believe that this is the “image” (Heb. “tselem” – resemblance) that He referred to in Gen 1:26. After all, it’s our spirit that will live for all of eternity with Him. With all of this being said, have you sat down and thought about what “worshipping in spirit and in truth” actually looks like? I can assure you that it isn’t defined by 20 (or maybe even 30!) minutes in what we deem a “worship service”. Nor is it found by simply playing a song that gives you the tingles when the chorus erupts. We must discover this place of worship. I’d personally say that there has likely only been a handful or two of moments when I’ve truly worshipped the Lord in absolute spirit and truth over the last couple of years. Believe me, moments where I know that I’ve touched Heaven and see my Father for Who He really is stand out. It’s time for us all to step it up and choose “to walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). God is not like you and I in the sense of our “humanity”. He is holy, He is blameless, He alone is the Creator and sustainer of all things. He lacks no good thing, He is Spirit – let’s worship Him as He created us to!


Anonymous said...

How does one stand up..applaud and shout AMEN in here? ;-)

If we would ALL just walk, step by step, listening with our spirit to Him, we would be in true worship.
thanks for another great blog!

Joel Spencer said...

anonymous: I think you just did!

How different would this world be if all who profess to be Christians were actually Christ-like! Wow.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Ironically joel, just last week when we were praying with a group of people over the molton's we realy layed into this verse and really recieved some revelation of "worship IN truth." Pretty what the lord was showing me and afterwords was confirmed by countless others. That there is something that takes place when we approach the Father in trut, in the spirit of truth. I believe that practically approaching the father in truth mean approaching him bare and naked as I really am. letting go of all thing that give me worth on earth and coming to him in the reality and truth of who I really am. When we approach the lord with our own "righteous rags" we are still approaching the father in a false reality of who we are. Here is why the lost,poor, marginailized feel so inferior to God and feel as though they need to fix their lives before they can give it Jesus. If we as believers stopped thinking we have it all together and simply stop approaching our lives as though we have some sort of self rightoeusness because we read the bible and can sing a pretty worship song to Jesus. If we truely realized the real state of our own souls... 1. we would see the true depth of His mercy and 2. approach God as Job did, and David did, and Jesus did. The reality of Worshiping in Spirit and Truth is something that I am encouraged to attempt, to live moment by moment worshiping with actions,thoughts, and motives that are out of the place of brokenness and in this place we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.

Good Stuff man!
Spirit Bring deeper revelation of these mysteries.

Eric Kilgore

Joel Spencer said...

Eric: Oh to realize the depth of who we REALLY are in the inner man! When we find our true existence and core, then we will literally be walking as Christ upon this earth, in Spirit and in truth.